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OU College of Law professor appointed to newly formed Facebook Oversight Board

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Evelyn Aswad

Evelyn Aswad poses at the OU College of Law. 

A professor at the OU College of Law has been appointed to a newly created Facebook Oversight Board, according to a May 6 press release from the College of Law. 

Evelyn Aswad, Herman G. Kaiser Chair at the College of Law, will review certain content decisions made by Facebook and Instagram, according to the release. Members of the board will make “binding decisions on selected content matters as well as submit recommendations on platform policies.” 

According to the release, the board is made up of 20 independent members from around the world, including law professors from Stanford and Columbia universities, people with backgrounds in journalism, and former high-ranking government officials and judges. The group will consider “freedom of expression protections within the framework of international human rights principles.” 

“The Oversight Board is an innovation in platform governance, and I hope it will bring some much needed outside oxygen and expertise into the often mysterious world of corporate content moderation,” Aswad said in the release. “I’m really looking forward to working with experts from around the world to try tackle some of the most consequential issues involving online speech.”

 Aswad’s expertise is in international human rights law and global corporate responsibility standards, with a focus on speech standards, according to the release. She's written several articles advocating for the use of universal human rights protections by social media companies when making content moderation decisions. 

According to the release, Asward currently teaches a human rights practicum on comparative freedom of expression issues and a course on international business and human rights. She also serves as the director of the OU College of Law’s Center for International Business and Human Rights. 

Before joining the OU College of Law faculty in 2013, she was the director of the humans rights law office at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. 

“Professor Aswad's profound accomplishments within the field of human rights cannot be overstated, making her appointment to this extraordinary group of thought leaders both remarkable and unsurprising,” OU Law Interim Dean Katheleen Guzman said. “OU Law is proud that one of our own will engage in the essential work of determining how best to moderate speech in today’s digital landscape.”

Ari Fife is the OU Daily summer editor-in-chief and a sophomore journalism major minoring in international studies and political science. Previously, she served as a senior news reporter and was an SGA beat reporter.

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